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Civic Museum

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52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada

Civic 2

Celebrating Guelph’s stories!

The Guelph Civic Museum showcases Guelph’s history through permanent and changing exhibits, a fun and interactive families gallery, and special events and activities.  Located in the recently renovated Loretto Convent, atop the hill at Norfolk Street and beside the landmark Church of Our Lady, the museum is home to a collection of over 30,000 artifacts that bring Guelph’s past to life.

2012

Guelph Civic Museum opens at 52 Norfolk Street, the former Loretto Convent.

2000

The “Growing Up in Guelph Children’s Museum” opens at the Civic Museum. The popular children’s gallery attracts many more visitors and significantly increases the number of family memberships.

1980

Guelph Civic Museum opens at 6 Dublin Street South, a commercial limestone building built c.1855. The building had many uses over the years but was most recently known as the Knights of Columbus Hall.

1967

Canada’s Centennial Year. The Museum opens in its first home in the horse stables, now the Farmer’s Market.

1960’s

Members of the Guelph Historical Society begin to collect artifacts and displays are mounted in store fronts and community centres.

Upcoming Events

December 2017

From Convent to Museum: The Renovation Story

December 5, 2017 - December 2, 2018
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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  The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose members are commonly known as the Sisters of Loretto, is a Roman Catholic congregation founded in France in 1609. In 1847, the Loretto Sisters arrived in Canada and by 1856 they had established a convent in Guelph, located on “Catholic Hill” near to the Church of Our Lady Immaculate (built between 1875 and 1883, designated as a basilica in 2014). The Loretto Sisters opened the first Catholic school in the county…

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July 2018

Family Game Night

July 3 @ 10:00 am - November 25 @ 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Hot Rollers and Hairdos – So Last Century

July 31 @ 10:00 am - October 28 @ 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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August 2018

Unmentionables and Under Things

August 2 @ 10:00 am - November 25 @ 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Throughout the twentieth century, the design of undergarments offered a mix of durability, comfort, and aesthetic appeal. As hemlines rose, women had new choices in stockings, knickerbockers, girdles, and brassieres. Men’s smalls led to long johns and eventually to the jock strap that coincided with the invention of the bicycle. Undergarments, originally unseen and unmentionable, became functional, fashionable, and affordable. The undergarment industry boomed and competition forced manufacturers to innovative and market their designs to the public. Underwear advertising first…

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Revelations from the Collection 

August 14, 2018 @ 10:00 am - January 27, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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A revealing look, through photography, at selected artifacts from the collections featuring ordinary objects made extraordinary.

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September 2018

Brewing Changes Guelph

September 15, 2018 @ 10:00 am - February 24, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Label illustration and design: Lind Design Reception: Friday, September 28 | 6:30 PM Brewing Changes Guelph examines the social and economic importance of brewing beer in the Royal City and the changes brought about by the rise, fall and resurrection of Guelph breweries. Whether one has worked in the brewing industry or has never tasted beer before, visitors will learn how brewing has benefitted and continues to benefit our city. The story begins with whiskey, early independent innkeepers and entrepreneurs,…

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October 2018

Harvest Tea

October 21 @ 1:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on October 21, 2018 at 3:00pm

Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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$15

Treat yourself to a seasonal afternoon tea at the Civic Museum. There will be two seatings, at 1 PM and 3 PM. Enjoy fresh scones, jam, shortbread cookies, fresh fruit and bottomless pots of McCrae Private Blend and Guelph Town Garden Blend teas. While at the museum, visit the current galleries and exhibitions, including Brewing Changes Guelph. Tickets in advance

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Downtown EarlyON Playtime

October 24 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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FREE

New weekly program offerings for children from 0 to 6 years old and their families, offered through the EarlyON Child and Family Centre. Beginning Wednesday, September 5, Guelph Civic Museum will become the Downtown EarlyON Playtime location with free drop in family programming that promotes early learning and development from 9:30 to 11:30 AM on a weekly basis. The EarlyON Child and Family Centre at the Guelph Community Health Centre has been in existence since 2003. EarlyON have eight off-site…

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History Haunts: Ghost Stories of Guelph

October 24 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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SOLD OUT

An evening of unusual tales by local storytellers about Guelph’s past. Suitable for teens and adults. Tickets in advance.

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Fourth Friday: Guelph Spoken Word

October 26 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free

Kick off your weekend with a performance by Guelph Spoken Word! On the Fourth Friday of the month, Guelph Museums offers free admission to the Guelph Civic Museum after 5 p.m. Performance by Guelph Spoken Word at 7 p.m. Guelph Spoken Word (formerly Semantix) was founded in November 2008 by Beth Anne Ellipsis. Quickly growing in popularity, GSW has moved forward to become a registered not-for-profit arts organisation with a board of directors and set of dedicated volunteers. An explosive performance…

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First World War at 100 Years

October 30, 2018 @ 10:00 am - January 27, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Winter Wonderful

October 30, 2018 @ 10:00 am - January 27, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Downtown EarlyON Playtime

October 31 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am
|Recurring Event (See all)
Weekly, Wednesdays
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free

New weekly program offerings for children from 0 to 6 years old and their families, offered through the EarlyON Child and Family Centre. Beginning Wednesday, September 5, Guelph Civic Museum will become the Downtown EarlyON Playtime location with free drop in family programming that promotes early learning and development from 9:30 to 11:30 AM on a weekly basis. The EarlyON Child and Family Centre at the Guelph Community Health Centre has been in existence since 2003. EarlyON have eight off-site…

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November 2018

School’s Out, Museum’s In PD Day – Nuclear Science Day

November 2 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Lots of fun STEM-themed activities for all ages, all day! Special activities: 1 to 4 PM Build a nuclear chart with LEGO blocks Nuclear science interactives and demonstrations Poster presentations by University of Guelph nuclear physics students/postdocs 2:30 PM  Presentation by Dr. Joanne O'Meara, Physics and Astronomy, University of Guelph   Next PD Day: November 30  Physics Road Show with Orbax, University of Guelph

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An Evening of Storytelling

November 7 @ 7:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every month that begins at 7:00pm on day First of the month, repeating until April 3, 2019

Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free

Join Guelph Guild of Storytellers and special guests on the first Wednesday of each month.

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Sons of 17

November 10 @ 2:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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$20

An unlikely pair of musicians meets in Guelph during the spring of 1917 to rehearse songs for soldier recruitment, all while revealing home front emotions, opinions and diversions of the time. Mike Ford (Moxy Früvous) and Murray Foster (Moxy Früvous, Great Big Sea) bring this musical remembrance to life. Tickets in advance.   Funded in part by Veterans Affairs Canada.

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Military Lecture: The Canadian Garrison Artillery Goes to War, 1914-1918

November 15 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Admission by donation

Roger Sarty presents The Canadian Garrison Artillery Goes to War, 1914-1918. Offered in partnership with the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies. Admission by donation. Roger Sarty is among Canada's leading historians, specializing in the history of Canada's Navy and coastal defence. He became the professor of naval, military, and Canadian history at Wilfrid Laurier University after twenty-three years as a historical researcher and manager for the Canadian government. As deputy director at the Canadian War Museum, he led exhibition development for…

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Brewing Changes Guelph Curator Tour

November 17 @ 2:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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$5

Explore Brewing Changes Guelph guided by guest curator Eric Payseur. Brewing Changes Guelph examines the social and economic importance of brewing beer in the Royal City and the changes brought about by the rise, fall and resurrection of Guelph breweries. Whether one has worked in the brewing industry or has never tasted beer before, visitors will learn how brewing has benefitted and continues to benefit our city.

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Fourth Friday: Jane Lewis & Sam Turton

November 23 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free

Kick off your weekend with a performance by Jane Lewis & Sam Turton! On the Fourth Friday of the month, Guelph Museums offers free admission to the Guelph Civic Museum after 5 p.m. Performance by Jane Lewis & Sam Turton at 7 p.m. For over 35 years, Sam Turton has been playing slide guitar and hammering out personal and political songs with a blues edge and gospel fervour. Sam's songs can be heard on his solo CD feel, and on the compilation CDs Not…

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School’s Out, Museum’s In PD Day – Physics Road Show with Orbax

November 30 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Lots of fun STEM-themed activities for all ages, all day! Special activities: 1 to 4 PM - Physics Road Show with Orbax, University of Guelph Undergraduate students enrolled in U of G’s Physics program will create interactive exhibits aimed at kids that involve the principles of STEM — science, technology, engineering and math. Exhibits could cover a number of topics, including electronics and electricity, form and function or the building of simple machines like catapults.

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Fizz-ics Pub Night

November 30 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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19+ Event | No cover charge. Fifth Friday! Faculty and students from the Physics Department, U of G will lead you through an evening of fun science and facts about beer!

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January 2019

Military Lecture: Before Shell Shock

January 17, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Admission by donation

Amy Milne-Smith presents, Before Shell Shock: Failed Minds and Failing Men in the 19th century British Military. Looking at contemporary ideas of insanity and the potential dangers for men at war from the Crimea to the Boer War provides an important context to the voluminous literature on battle fatigue and the First World War. However, any attempt to “find” examples shell shock or PTSD in the nineteenth-century archive is an ill-fated search. Doctors often failed to determine or record the cause…

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February 2019

Military Lecture: Spiritualism and the First World War

February 21, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Admission by donation

Kyle Falcon presents, Spiritualism and the First World War. Offered in partnership with the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies. Admission by donation. This talk will focus on British spiritualism, psychical research and the Great War. Spiritualism, which can be defined as the belief in communicating with the dead, usually through the seance, saw a surge of popularity during and after the war. Falcon will focus on the ways in which the British population tried to unite science and religion in the…

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March 2019

Military Lecture: Riding into Battle

March 28, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Admission by donation

Ted Glenn presents, Riding into Battle: Canadian Cyclists in the Great War. Speaker Ted Glenn will draw on his forthcoming book on Canada’s Great War Cyclists when he presents the eighth annual Toronto History Lecture. The story of Canadian Cyclists in the Great War is largely unknown. Drafted between 1914 and 1916, these troops spent most of the war digging trenches, patrolling roads, and delivering dispatches. Based on personal diaries, memoirs, and newspaper accounts, the lecture addresses the Cyclists’ early war…

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